Over the Influence

In Over the Influence: Why Social Media is Toxic for Women and Girls – And How We Can Take It Back, communication professor and CNN Opinion contributor Kara Alaimo demonstrates how social media affects every aspect of the lives of women, girls and nonbinary people —from our relationships and our parenting to our physical and mental wellbeing. Over the Influence is a book about what it means to live in the world social media has wrought – whether you’re constantly connected or have deleted your accounts forever. Alaimo shows why you’re likely to get fewer followers if you’re a woman. She demonstrates how fake news is crafted to prey on women’s vulnerabilities. She reveals why so much of the content we find in our feeds is specifically designed to hold us back. And she explains how social media has made the offline world a far uglier place for women. But we can change this and reclaim the Internet to empower ourselves. Alaimo offers up brilliant advice for how to get over the influence—how to handle our daughters’ use of social media, use dating apps to find who we’re looking for, use social networks to bolster our careers, and protect ourselves from sextortionists, catfishers and trolls. She also explains what we need to demand from lawmakers and tech companies in order to solve these problems. Over the Influence calls on women to recognize and call out the subtle (and not-so-subtle sexism and misogyny we find online, reject misinformation that is targeted to us because of our gender, and use our social platforms to empower ourselves and other women. It will be published on March 5, 2024 — just in time for International Women’s Day.

Praise for Over the Influence:
“A clarion call for thoughtfulness and action on a vital issue facing girls and women, Kara Alaimo’s Over the Influence is a captivating must-read for anyone who cares about misogyny, the internet, and the confluence between them. It is also indispensable, impeccably researched, and eye-opening reading for any parent navigating social media with their children—which is to say, all of us.”
—Kate Manne, author of Entitled: How Male Privilege Hurts Women and Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny

“Social media promised us a better, more connected, more empathetic world. Instead, it’s brought insecurity, humiliation, sexualization, and sometimes even violence—at least to women and girls. That’s the case Kara Alaimo makes in her important book, which everyone who has ever downloaded a social media app, or who cares about the future of society, should read.”
—Jill Filipovic, author of The H-Spot: The Feminist Pursuit of Happiness

Over the Influence is the ultimate guide for any mom seeking to help her daughters—and herself—more safely navigate an internet that is stacked against women. I’ll be recommending it to all the parents in my life.”
—Nina Jankowicz, author of How to Be a Woman Online: Surviving Abuse and Harassment, and How to Fight Back